2G turns a dirty spectrum; Pawar calls Radia a 'liar','fool'

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Sharad Pawar
New Delhi, Apr 14: The biggest money laundering cases in India - 2G spectrum scam is becoming a dirty blame game day-by-day. From top government officials to corporate honchos have been named as accused in the scam. Now, the country is witnessing the war of words between Union Agriculture minister Sharad Pawar and corporate lobbyist Niira Radia.

Radia, during her interrogation, told CBI that Pawar may be a honcho in the controversial DB Realty firm and might have pursued A Raja to issue 2G spectrum and licence to Swan Telecom. (Read:2G Scam: Niira Radia implicates Sharad Pawar)

In the statement filed by the CBI, Radia was quoted as saying, "That as per the general perception in Mumbai as well as outside DB Realties (sic) directly or indirectly (is) controlled by Sharad Pawar and his family members."

Diminishing Radia's statement to the CBI, Pawar on Thursday, Apr 14 stated, "This is absolutely lie and foolish statement and I have no financial or any interest in this company. The person Vinod Goenka ... his father knows me from many years. He has set up a milk processing unit in my hometown 20 years back and that unit is going well."

This was not the first time that Pawar's name has been totted up with DB Realty promoter Shahid Balwa. Earlier, BJP's MLA Eknath Khadse had also claimed Balwa-Pawar connection when he stated that Pawar had travelled with Balwa to Dubai twice in Balwa's plane. (Read: 2G: Sharad Pawar comes under Balwa spectrum?)

However, Pawar turned down the BJP MLA's claim as the agriculture minister said, "As party President on many occasions, we hire aircraft... and we hired their aircraft. We paid money by cheque...it is not the only company we have used for helicopters."

DB Realty and Swan Telecom was allegedly one of the major beneficiaries of the 2G scam and its main promoter Balwa has been arrested. Balwa has been accused of allegedly routing a 200-crore bribe to former Telecom Minister A Raja.

Raja, who is in Tihar jail now, has been accused of selling spectrum and mobile network licenses at throwaway prices in 2008 to Swan and other companies that were ineligible.

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